My Bloody Valentine/Spectrum – Apollo 28th June


I’d read the reports from blogo-land and seen the pictures from their London Roundhouse gig, but none of this, it seems, sufficiently prepared me for My Bloody Valentine at the Apollo on Saturday.

Support came from Spectrum, aka Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember and band. I was hoping for much more, but Spectrum didn’t deliver: mildly affecting dronage, only slightly memorable because of the peculiar sight of Mr Boom walking around the stage (with a strange gait) adjusting amplifiers with no apparent or discernable difference to the resulting sound.

You can see why MBV are so influential – I spent a lot of the evening trying to work out how they achieved their sound and goggling at the innovation on show. Yet since Saturday I’ve been thinking a lot about this review and subsequently struggling to locate MBV in an adjective category. In fact, I’ve given up trying to work out if they were any good or not.

The best I can come up with is: “MBV were an experience I’m glad I’ve had, but never want to repeat”. Why? Because it all comes down to that section in set finisher ‘You made me realise’.

Now I’ve seen Japanese noise-architect Merzbow in full flow. I’ve also seen Magic City doing his glitch/noise/satanic metal thing at the Star and Garter. So I was full of bravado and arrogant confidence that it couldn’t be that loud.

How wrong I was.

A list of what I experienced during the noise middle-eight :

  • Delight in the sheer corporeality of noise.
  • Hilarity at the total stupidity of it.
  • Total and utter boredom.
  • Aural and visual disorientation
  • Fear
  • Actual and very real nausea.

And that was just the first five minutes (arf). We got 25 fucking minutes of it (and yes, I did time it)

And that’s all I can say.

Some MBV:

Only Shallow


Bleed your ears here



About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on June 30, 2008, in Gig reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. it was the strangest and most memorable gig i’ve been to for a long time. (also the only one with a massive huge queue for the gents and noone in the ladies) I dont understand sonics but could they only achieve the effect they wanted at a slightly quieter level? really enjoyed listening to arguments outside too

  2. loads of people have said to me the same thing Morag about turning it down a little bit – some of the more intricate bits would have come out as well I think. Generally though it’s certainly a gig that will be lodged in the memory for some time to come.

  1. Pingback: Radiohead/Bat for Lashes/MGMT: LCC 29th June « Both bars on

  2. Pingback: Be there, or watch it on the interwebs « Both bars on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: